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St. Pius pounces on North Hall, wins 49-8
Lions junior QB and teammates run over North Hall, 49-8
St. Pius receiver Payne Penter stretches out for a pass during the first half of Friday night's game with North hall at The Brickyard.

T.J. Holloman made his precision running of St. Pius X's triple-option offense seem rather elementary during a postgame interview.

But the junior quarterback didn't go without drawing the attention of every fan at The Brickyard on Friday, especially North Hall coach Bob Christmas.

In his first season as a varsity starter for the Golden Lions (2-1), Holloman carried the ball 16 times for 253 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-8 win against the Trojans (1-1).

It's probably why the a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is already high on the recruiting radar for schools such as Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt, among others.

"All I did was follow my blocking and they opened up tremendous holes," said Holloman, whose previous career-high was 150 yards against Greater Atlanta Christian.

After missing his sophomore season with a broken fibula, Holloman started the scoring on a 15-yard run on a third-and-3 on St. Pius' opening drive. All night long, Holloman was getting through the line of scrimmage for the Golden Lions and shedding sometimes three and four would-be tacklers.

Holloman took over the starting quarterback job early in the season when junior Trey White went down with a season-ending injury.

"He's (Holloman) a pretty good quarterback," Christmas said. "He's a big, strong kid and it's hard to argue with the numbers he put up tonight."

In addition to everything St. Pius X tried on offense working almost without exception, North Hall was hampered by poor execution on both sides of the ball and four turnovers, including a fumbled kickoff to open the second half.

The Golden Lions finished the game with 455 rushing yards and four different ball-carriers scoring rushing touchdowns. Not only did Holloman break off long runs all night, but Logan Rosborough scored on two runs from the 2 and Ryan Braswell scored on a run from the 38 for the Golden Lions.

Geno Smith scored on a run from the 47 for St. Pius and also had two interceptions from his spot in the secondary.

"I was very disappointed in our execution tonight, but not in our kids," Christmas said. "I need to do a better job getting our kids ready to play.

"I'll go back and watch the film from this game and see what we can do to be ready for the next game."

North Hall's bright spot offensively was junior receiver C.J. Curry with five catches for 120 yards. He produced catches of 19- and 42-yards on an early second-quarter drive, which set up the Trojans' lone touchdown on a run from Clay Quinn at the 1.

Still, there was little North Hall could do to counter the running of Holloman. Leading 21-8 after North Hall's touchdown, Holloman went right back to work with a 50-yard run on a third-and-7, and a 15-yard gain three plays later on a third-and-10. Five plays later, Rosborough, a fullback, scored on a run from the 2.

With all the attention that Holloman drew for his rushing ability, it set up the pitch play nicely. Late in the first quarter, Holloman pitched to the junior Smith, who already holds scholarship offers from Auburn, Georgia Tech, Georgia and Virginia Tech, for a 47-yard touchdown run.

Holloman also scored on a run from the 17.

Injuries are also coming into play for North Hall. Trojans junior running back Imani Cross still hasn't played this season after offseason Achilles' tendon surgery and senior tight end/defensive end D.J. Miolen may miss three weeks with what he said could be a stress fracture in his leg.

Senior linebacker Mack VanGorder, North Hall's leading rusher in Week 1 against Jefferson, left Friday's game with a slight shoulder separation.

"We've been here before," Christmas said. "We started 1-2 last season and went on to win the next eight straight.

"We knew with three starters back this season, we would have work to do."

North Hall plays host to Gainesville Friday, and St. Pius X visits North Springs next Friday in Atlanta.


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